Mercerism

What is Mercerism (from the novel Do Androids Dreams of Electric Sheep)?

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As is already addressed in the previous answers, Mercerism is the dominant religion, in Philip K. Dick's novel, following World War Terminus, whose central tenets encourage empathy between humans in a world where that empathy—and the understanding of what it means to be human—is being eroded. The figure Dick chooses to represent the "Christ" persona in the religion is deliberately in the same mold as most savior archetypes. Mercer is an ordinary person who has suffered for no real reason, and for whom his followers can feel empathy because they know he doesn't deserve to be discriminated against.

It is true that, ultimately, "Mercerism" is exposed as a "scam," something created in a television studio with the goal of uniting people in empathy and communal feeling. However, the fact remains that regardless of the truths behind it, the religion generates the intended feelings in its followers, and it is very real to them. One of the questions Dick poses in the novel, then, is: what...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 651 words.)

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